Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hip Hip Hooray!

It's been a year since I had my hip roto-rootered, and I'm due for my final post-op appointment in a few weeks. The orthopedic surgeon that did the surgery is a kick. She specializes in women's sports injuries and hips, so I thought....hmmm..well it's a little goofy but why not? OHSU is a teaching hospital and she always comes in with an intern or two, so it's always a circus. Hopefully none of the cut lines will look like fractures.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Home At Last

Ne Obliviscaris is complete and on the road to it's new home. I have been planning this project for several years, and it is hard to describe how I feel about it.

Every day police officers and firefighters go to work knowing that it could be their last. But that isn't what is on the forefront of their minds. They think about the regular, bills, friends. Did they remember to feed the dog before they left for work? But the constant hum in the background is the other side... staying safe, getting sued, active shooters, hazmat spills...terrorists.

Emergency services dispatching, which is what I did, is exacting work, with no margin for error. It can eat you alive. It also gives you the opportunity, every day, to change the outcome of a potentially horrible situation. Shots fired, officer down, helicopter crash, childbirth, pursuits, lost kids, found kids. It was a great job and I loved it.

After 20+ years, Ed retires from law enforcement this week. After being shot at, run over, attacked by lunatics and generally having a great time, I will be thankful to finally get him home in one piece. It is only job that I can think of (besides active military and firefighting) that you have to put on body armor every day to go to work. It was a great job and he loved it.

We have been so blessed.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's Hard To Resist

The sandblasting was a success! It was a totally new thing and I was really afraid I would mess up the whole project, but I am really happy with how it turned out.

So here is how it went: I printed out the script on the computer. For the Lady Liberty motto, I chose a font that I felt was appropriate for the statue. For the badge, I just used a photo of the badge and enlarged it to the proper size. Then I taped the pieces with the words to the back of the glass. This is probably not the best way to do it because the thickness of the glass distorts the print, but I was careful to look directly down through the glass when cutting out the resist.

Resist is a clear plastic made specifically for sandblasting which can be cut with a craft knife. It adheres to the glass and won't get blown away in the blasting process. After burnishing it onto the glass, I used an electric stencil cutter (like a tiny hot needle) and cut out the letters. After peeling off the parts that I didn't want, I cleaned up any rough edges with an exacto knife, and carefully burnished off any burrs. This part was tricky because you don't want to displace any little pieces that are supposed to remain, or the whole thing is ruined and you have to start over.

Then I put resist on the back of the pieces so that any flying blasting medium wouldn't cloud the glass.

I borrowed a small siphon sandblaster from Ruth Doumit, a very talented glass and ceramics artist who advised me on this part of the project. I made a temporary sandblasting cabinet from a large plastic storage bin. I put the glass down at the bottom inside of the bin, covered the edges of the bin with pieces of wood and just reached in and blasted away.

Definitely low tech, and I'm sure there is a lot of snickering and eye-rolling going on someplace, but that's ok. I'll be the first to stand up and say I have no clue what I'm doing. There is some stunning sandblast art going on out there, and this isn't it. This is just fundamental script. When I win the lottery I might get some real sandblasting equipment, but I just needed something simple for this project.

I wish I had a picture of me in my sandblasting outfit cause it was quite the fashion statement. I had a bandanna tied over my hair "Lucy" style. I had safety glasses, dust mask, longsleeved shirt buttoned at the neck and sleeves, and gloves. It wasn't enough. Next time I'll get a sandblasting hood.

The banner is on the Lady Liberty.

The badge number here has been replaced with a tribute to September 11, 2001.

So here it is in rough form. I still have to put zinc u-came around each one. Ed is building a cedar frame for the finished piece. I'll probably spend hours cleaning and polishing the glass before it is mounted.

We'll probably get it all together next weekend. Ed will drive down for his last week at work and take it with him. I've had this project on my mind for several years and it feels good to actually put it together.